Heather Joseph On The State Of Open Access: Where Are We, What Still Needs To Be Done?

Richard Poynder | Open and Shut? | July 12, 2013

This is the fourth Q&A in a series exploring the current state of Open Access (OA). On this occasion the questions are answered by Heather Joseph.

A former journal publisher, Joseph has in her time worked for both Elsevier and the American Society for Cell Biology (ACSB). In 2005, however, she changed direction and became Executive Director for the Scholarly Publishing & Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC), an alliance of academic and research libraries created in 1998 by the Association of Research Libraries (ARL). SPARC’s original mission was to “use libraries’ buying power to nurture the creation of high-quality, low-priced publication outlets for peer-reviewed scientific, technical, and medical research.”

Subsequently SPARC also changed direction, becoming an OA advocacy group. And under Joseph’s able leadership SPARC has proved extremely effective at making the case for OA, and persuading researchers, institutions, funders and governments to embrace OA. In particular, Joseph led SPARC’s efforts to secure the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) Public Access Policy, and the recent White House Directive on Public Access to the Results of Publicly Funded Research.